Archive for August, 2009

Grady’s first day (??)


Grady Adam Randolph – first day (no school)

My little guy, Graders, is two.  So, he still has another year home with me before he can start preschool.

HA – someone try telling him that!

He was devastated that he didn’t get to go to school this year.  As Ava & Garrett got ready for their big day, Grady got ready for his.  He got out his trusty “Thomas” backpack, threw in a toy or two & waited for his turn to explore the unknown, but, “must-be-ever-so-exciting-because-I-want-to-go-soooo-bad” place known as “school.”


Grady – in the depths of despair

Okay, so the big meltdown moment came after Garrett got on the bus & Grady didn’t.  Did I mention Grady was devastated?  He wa DE-VA-STATED!! By this point, he managed to get his shoes on by himself (funny, I didn’t know he could do that…).  I will say though, I think he has very nice form & should consider diving in the future.


Grady – posing on the porch

During the meltdown, one of the things Grady kept repeating was “Gleedy’s turn.  Gleedy’s turn!!”  I thought he simply meant that he wanted his turn to go to school.  But no, he wanted his turn to have his picture taken.  My poor little guy – he really is a sweetheart.  So, he sat on the porch just like Ava & Garrett & finally had “his turn”.


Grady – the remedy

After pictures, Grady started to get upset again.  So, I did what I do when I’m upset.  I bent down & asked him, “Do you want to go get ice cream?”  Thankfully, that worked.  So, the two of us headed over to McDonald’s.


Graders – bottoms up!

This picture just makes me laugh!!!


Grady – it’s a fun day afterall…

What started out as tragic for the little man ended up turning into a pretty fun day.  I didn’t realize though I had set a precedent.  After Garrett left for school the next day, Grady grabbed his shoes & told me it was time for McDonald’s & ice cream.  Thankfully, he didn’t fall apart when I explained that was a special trip.  We had fun playing for a while, then he went down for a nap.  Let me tell you, I was right behind him!  I’m looking forward to the four hours Grady & I will have together each day.  But secretly…I admit I’m also enjoying the hour I get to myself when he naps.

Hope it’s a great school year!!



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Garrett’s first day


Garrett Adam David – 1st day of preschool (3rd year)

Seems kinda strange typing “3rd year” of preschool.  Most kids only go 2 years!  Garrett started preschool early because he was part of the IEP program at his school.  The progress he has made is amazing.  Those who know him well, know how far this little man has come.  His speech is clear & his social skills have improved dramatically.  I am so thankful for every one of his teachers at his school.  I will always be appreciative for the impact they made on his life.


Garrett –  getting on the bus

Garrett loves the bus.  Loves it!  When it pulls up in front of our house, he bolts out the door & makes a beeline for the open door.  I remember how nervous I was putting him on the bus the first year he attended preschool.  Funny how we, as parents, have a tendency to worry about what our little ones can or can’t handle.  He surprised me that year by how independent he really is.  I did a lot of growing that year (still continue to do so), as I let my kids take chances & do things without always relying on me.  I learned not to hover over them all the time (especially Garrett) & instead give them space to try new things while I watched with a bit more distance.  In doing so, I learned how strong they really are…and discovered a hidden strength in me too.  I have a tendency to hold tightly on to things.  God has slowly been teaching me to relax my grip.  Funny…I never realized how much strength it takes to let go.


Garrett – on the bus

As the start of the school year drew closer, Garrett became more vocal about not wanting to go to school.  He & Ava are so different!  Ava counted down the days until school began.  Garrett kept saying he wanted to stay home with me so we could eat lunch together.  This was a bit odd because he’s always attended the afternoon preschool session, so we do eat lunch together.  Things turned around though, when I told him he could pick out his very own backpack.  Then he was excited!  We went to the store & he had lots of choices.  He ended up settling on the “Star Wars” backpack.  Interesting choice, seeing that he doesn’t have any “Star Wars” toys or has ever seen the movies.  But, this is what he really wanted.  So, this is what we got.  He was so proud to show Adam his backpack when he got home.  And he was even more excited to bring it to school!

Garrett had a great first day.  He really likes his teacher, classmates & especially loves snack time.

Grady’s turn tomorrow!

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Ava’s first day


Ava Grace – first day of 1st grade

When Ava was 3 years old, her Grandma Bev gave her the book, “Strawberry Shortcake Goes to School.”  In a nutshell, Strawberry forgets her lunch on her first day of school, but all her friends share their lunch & everyone has a great day.  Ever since then, Ava has wanted to bring her lunch to school.


Ava had her heart set on a High School Musical lunchbox.  Oh, and it just had to be a tin one.  We searched the Disney Store, Walmart, Target, etc., but came up empty each time.  Luckily, we found one online!

I have to say, and I know it’ll probably sound silly, but this whole lunch thing really got to me.  I went grocery shopping a night ago & carefully selected things I knew would make Ava’s first lunch a special one.  As I looked for her favorite juicebox, I felt like I could start crying at any moment.  This morning she was sooo excited to help me make her lunch.  I cut her sandwich into four triangles with the crust off of course, gave her a pickle, triscuits & a chocolate pudding (hey, I even remembered to buy spoons! 🙂 )  I packed everything up & handed her the box.  She was one very happy little girl.


Ava – on her way to school


Ava & Mommy

As we walked along, I noticed our shadows.  She’s really getting tall, isn’t she?


Ava – in her classroom

Ava was a little nervous today.  She wasn’t sure how many kids she would know.  Luckily, one of her very good friends was in her class.  She also has a fellow preschool classmate in her room.  So, when I left her, she was all smiles.  Her teacher is a sweetheart.  We met her last year because her daughter & Ava were in the same kindergarten class.

Garrett also started school today & Grady wished he did.

More on Garrett’s big day tomorrow (and I can’t wait to show you Grady’s pics…heartbreaking & funny at the same time!).

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“Sad is the day for any man when he becomes absolutely satisfied with the life he is living, the thoughts that he is thinking and the deeds that he is doing; when there ceases to be forever beating at the doors of his soul a desire to do something larger which he seeks and knows he was meant and intended to do.”

~Philips Brooks

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Looks like someone had a bit too much fun in the sun today!


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this afternoon

I’m probably a bit of a nerd for posting this, but I thought it was sweet.

The doorbell rang just a bit ago.  I assumed it was one of Ava’s friends.  However, when I opened the door, there stood the boys who live behind us.

The older one looked up at me and asked, “Can Garrett & Grady come out & play?”

I seriously just looked at him for a moment.  You see, this is the first time someone has asked for the boys to come play.  I guess it’s just a little reminder that they’re growing.  Next thing I know, girls will be calling!

So, the kids played for a bit & then I got lunch ready.  I asked the neighborhood boys if they wanted anything & before they had a chance to respond, Ava piped up, “It’s okay.  You can order whatever you want.  She’ll tell you ‘yes’ or ‘no.'”

And I thought my waitressing days were over – silly me!!  🙂

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sew, a needle pulling thread

because that’s what I was doing until 2 am…

Yesterday afternoon, Ava came running up to me, “Mom,” she cried, “Can you make a princess dress for my Kit Kittredge doll?  Pleeeeease!”

Ava found some old material in my sewing basket that had Disney princesses on it.  Now, I use the term “sewing basket” very loosely.  I enjoy cross-stitching.  And I can sew on a button.  That’s about the extent of my sewing ability.

But I, wanting to be a mommy-hero, replied “Sure!”

Adam, being the ever helpful hubby, suggested to Ava that I make a dress that looked like this:


I shot him a dirty look & said I could make a simple dress.  That’s it.

I got out the scissors, some thread & a needle.  And then I stared at the material.  And stared some more.  And then felt my stomach drop.  I didn’t even know where to begin.

Ava looked at me with wide eyes, waiting for me to begin what, I assumed, she hoped would be a fashion extravaganza.  I considered offering to take her to just go buy Kit a dress.  But, there was no way she was letting me back out.  And it was at that moment when determination set in.  I was going to see this through.  Besides, I figured if turned out awful, then I could always dress it up with accessories.

I thought, “Well, whenever I’m being fit for a show, the costumer designer always starts with the tape measure.”  So, that’s what I did.  I found my measuring tape & got to work.  I measured Kit’s hips, waist, bust, shoulder width & even her inseam.  About this time, Ava asked when I thought I’d be done.  I told her two days, if she was lucky.

I made a pattern & hand-stitched the dress.  The dress didn’t go on during my first fitting attempt.  Let me tell you, that doll has some pretty broad shoulders!  So, I cut a slit down the back of the dress & managed to get in on that way.  I suppose I should add some velcro later…

Here is the finished product:



I like to think of it a dress with princesses, as opposed to a princess-dress.  😉

I had Kit standing on the counter this morning, so Ava would see her when she came down.

Honestly, I was nervous!  I knew I had to be a good sport if she was disappointed, but still, I secretly hoped she’d like it.

She walked in to the kitchen & was excited!  She even said she loved it!

I was actually a little surprised (and relieved!) by her reaction.  I mean, the dress is very simple & crude, not your typical fancy & frilly princess dress.

So, I asked Ava what she liked about the dress.

Her reply:

“That you made it for me.”

And that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?  When it comes down to it, I think what Ava wanted most was my involvement, not necessarily my skill (or lack thereof…).  She wasn’t looking for a special princess dress.  She wanted a dress that her mom specially made for her.

Before walking away with Kit tucked tightly in her arms, Ava smiled at me and added:

“And, that you put Cinderella on the front.”

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